Kieswetter secures tough chase
Somerset 192 for 6 (Kieswetter 89*, Fuller 3-33) beat Gloucestershire 190 for 6 (Cockbain 63, Marshall 49) by four wickets
Craig Kieswetter blasted a brilliant 89 not out to lead Somerset to a thrilling four-wicket win over arch-rivals Gloucestershire in the Friends Life t20 at Taunton.
A sell-out crowd of 7,500 saw the home side reach a testing target of 191 with just one ball to spare, new overseas signing Yasir Arafat hitting a four off his only ball faced to win the game.
Jos Buttler contributed a rapid 29 to a stand of 45 in three overs with Kieswetter, who faced only 55 deliveries, striking four sixes and seven fours. James Fuller kept the pressure on Somerset with 3 for 33.
Ian Cockbain had hit 63 off 36 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, to help give Gloucestershire a competitive total. Hamish Marshall (49) and Alex Gidman (36) were the other main contributors as Steve Kirby returned 2 for 22 against his old club.
A magnificent game was in the balance even in the final over, which Somerset began needing only five to win. David Payne bowled Craig Meschede with three still needed, but Arafat walked out to settle matters with a sliced boundary to third man.
Somerset had bowled tightly to start with after winning the toss. Arafat claimed the first of his two wickets when Michael Klinger top-edged a pull to midwicket and Kirby struck against his old club by pinning Chris Dent lbw for a duck.
After the six overs of power play the visitors were becalmed on 35 for two. But Cockbain then went on the attack and, while Marshall was not at his best, the pair added 110 in 10.5 overs.
Cockbain pulled the first six of the innings in the ninth over, sent down by Meschede who was also hit for maximums by Marshall and Gidman as his four overs went for 54. Marshall was one short of a half-century when leg-spinner Max Waller accepted a sharp caught and bowled chance.
The first ball of the following over saw Cockbain caught at long-on off Kirby and Somerset looked to be reining their visitors in. But Gidman struck some meaty blows in the closing overs and 190 looked around a par score on a flat wicket in glorious sunshine.
In the end there was only one candidate for Man-of-the-Match and Kieswetter duly collected the award for a mature, as well as superbly skilful innings.